National Academy of Sciences

Archaeology: “Undiscovery of Year” to Meltzer for refuting comet theory

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Archaeology magazine, published by the Archaeological Institute of America, recognized
SMU archaeologist David Meltzer and his colleague Vance Holliday of the University of Arizona for their “undiscovery” that the important ancient Clovis culture didn’t die out from the impact of a comet.

Melter and Holliday, who published their research in the October issue of Current Anthropology, challenged the controversial theory that the impact of an ancient comet devastated the Clovis people, one of the earliest known cultures to inhabit North America.

Nothing in the archaeological record suggests an abrupt collapse of Clovis populations, say Meltzer and Holliday. (Image: NASA)
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USA Today: Researchers — Clovis people didn’t disappear because of comet

BwD%20Clovis%20type%20specimens%20II%20150x120px.jpgUSA Today has written about the research of SMU archaeologist David Meltzer that challenges the controversial theory that an ancient comet devastated the Clovis people, one of the earliest known cultures in North America.

Writing online in USA Today’s Science Fair section, journalist Elizabeth Weise notes that Meltzer demonstrates in a recent study that there is nothing in the archaeological record to suggest an abrupt collapse of Clovis populations.
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No evidence for ancient comet devastating Clovis, says SMU archaeologist’s research

New research challenges the controversial theory that an ancient comet devastated the Clovis people, one of the earliest known cultures in North America.

In the October issue of Current Anthropology, SMU archaeologist David Meltzer demonstrates there is nothing in the archaeological record to suggest an abrupt collapse of Clovis populations.
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“Peopling of the Americas” researcher awarded highest honor

david-meltzer-sm.ashx.jpegAn SMU anthropologist whose work centers on how people first came to inhabit North America has been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). David Meltzer, chair of SMU’s Department of Anthropology, has been elected a member of the NAS in recognition for his achievements in original scientific research.

Meltzer’s work looks at the origins, antiquity, and adaptations of the first Americans. Paleoindians colonized the North American continent at the end of the Ice Age. Meltzer focuses on how these hunter-gatherers met the challenges of moving across and adapting to the vast, ecologically diverse landscape of Late Glacial North America during a time of significant climate change.

Membership in the NAS is one of the highest honors given to a scientist or engineer in the United States.
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